"Lying, as well as stealing, entails loss of character on habitual offenders; and, indeed, an Indian of independent feelings and elevated character will hold no kind of intercourse with any one who has been once clearly convicted." (Hunter's "Captivity Among Indians," 1797-1816, p. 301).
"This venerable, worn-out warrior [the Kansas Chief, Tshut-che-nau, Defender of the People], would often admonish us for our faults and exhort us never to tell a lie." (Hunter, p. 21).
"On all occasions, and at whatever price, the Iroquois spoke the truth, without fear and without hesitation." (Morgan's "League of the Iroquois," p. 330).
"The honor of their tribe, and the welfare of their nation is the first and most predominant emotion of their hearts; and from hence proceed in a great measure all their virtues and their vices. Actuated by this, they brave every danger, endure the most exquisite torments, and expire triumphing in their fortitude, not as a personal qualification, but as a national characteristic." (Carver's "Travels," p. 271).
The Indian's assent to a treaty was always binding. I cannot discover a case of breach, excepting when the whites first broke it; and this does not mean the irresponsible whites, but the American Government. The authorities at Washington never hesitated to break each and every treaty apparently, as soon as some material benefit seemed likely to accrue.
Col. R. I. Dodge says:
"The three principal causes of wars with the Indians are:
"First, Non-fulfilment of treaties by the United States Government.
"Second, Frauds by the Indian agents.
" Third, Encroachments by the whites." (" Hunting-grounds of the Great West," 1878, pp. XLIII-XLIV).
Captain John G. Bourke, who served under General Crook in 1872, when the Apaches were crushed by overwhelming numbers and robbed of their unquestioned heritage, says:
"It was an outrageous proceeding, one for which I should still blush, had I not long since gotten over blushing for anything that the United States Government did in Indian matters." ("On the Border with Crook," p. 217).
"The most shameful chapter of American history is that in which is recorded the account of our dealings with the Indians. The story of our Government's intercourse with this race is an unbroken narrative of injustice, fraud and robbery." (Grinnell's "Blackfoot Lodge Tales," 1892, p. IX).
In brief, during our chief dealings with the Redman, our manners were represented by the border outlaws, the vilest criminals the world has known, absolute fiends; and our Government by educated scoundrels of shameless, heartless, continual greed and treachery.
The great exception on American soil was that of William Penn. He kept his word. He treated the Indians fairly; they never wronged him to the extent of a penny, or harmed him or his, or caused a day's anxiety; but continued his loyal and trusty defenders." (See Jackson's "Century of Dishonor.")
How is it that Canada has never had an Indian war or an Indian massacre? Because the Government honorably kept all its treaties, and the Indians themselves were honorable, by tradition; they never yet broke a treaty. In northwestern Canada, there were two slight outbreaks of half-breeds (1871 and 1885), but these were misunderstandings, easily settled. There was little fighting, no massacres, and no heritage of hate in their track.
What wonder that all who could, among the Indian tribes, moved over the "Medicine Line," and dwell in Canada to-day!